Great expectations

young womanWe admire what she’s got. Such a strong, vibrant faith! Honestly, it pours out her pores: Genuine kindness, focused worship, consistent lifestyle. Yep, the Lord is pleased with this one!

But something’s not quite right. It’s a silent thing, looming during prayer, after sermons. Alone in her room, she journals through tears, weary under the burden: “I’m not worthy, Father. I’ve let you down and can’t stand myself for it.”

Holy expectations, human setbacks. What’s a Godly girl to do? Sydney, a college freshman, can relate: “When I mess up, I automatically tell myself I’m no good to God. I’m a failure and have nothing good to bring Him.”

Wait a minute, sweet Sydney. Hang on, saddened sisters. What if God’s not keeping score? What if He’s bigger than your mistakes? What if Love trumps sin?

When you’re God’s kid—when you call Him Father and follow His Son—Nothing makes Him love you less. Nothing! He sees you fall but knows you don’t want to. You’re His imperfect, perfect pleasure: “He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

It’s called grace: Good stuff with no strings, good standing just because. It’s an ongoing gift, thanks to a one-time sacrifice.

And there’s more good news, my sisters! On the cross, Jesus took more than your sin; He also died for your shame. Why? So you wouldn’t have to endure it: “It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

So if God adores you on bad days…If Christ conquered your guilt…Then what’s the point of a self-imposed burden? As one young woman told me: “Jesus died for my worthlessness. I refuse to let Satan resurrect it.”

Should imperfect girls attempt holiness? Absolutely. We want to look like Christ (1 Peter 1:16), and we want to run the race (Philippians 3:14). But when we fall short? It’s no surprise to God. It’s not the end of us. Instead, we stare down the sin, repent sincerely, and rest in grace—Grace and love and sweet freedom.


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8 thoughts on “Great expectations

  1. Becky says:

    As i was scrolling down on facebook I spotted this blog. It’s exactly what I’ve been facing. It’s like God sent me a little message saying I love you. Beautiful and encouraging. thank you.

  2. Shelley Holzworth says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write to the girls that are trying so hard to be what God wants them to be and spend so much time beating themselves up over their imperfect life. God wants to use each one of us and we must be mentally ready, spirtually ready and physically ready- if we are living with constant disappointment in missing the mark yet again, we miss opportunities to experience God’s all encompassing love and forgiveness and his will for us to joyfully make a mark on the world in His name! Love to all those precious girls- take a breath, soak up the word and live in His JOY- He saved you because you can NEVER reach the mark by yourself- Live righteously to the best of your ability, but stop beating yourselves up at every turn. God wants you to live in peace and to love others and to meditate on His word. xoxoxoxo

  3. Melanie Schroeder Saccomanno says:

    Love your writing Ava always. If I may add my story of forgiving self. It was a subtle lie I believed. A subtle lie that I could be perfect and wearing self down trying. I pray with you sweet sisters , we realize who the perfect one is, who sees us perfect and no flaw in us.. (sos.4:7) the repentance comes as we see the revelation of the perfect love. God is not focused on our lack of but has filled us with Himself.. 100 percent of all the fruit. Such love; Such freedom..

    Here is to the body walking in their identity IN Christ victorious as Jesus sits at right hand of the Father praying for us.. hoot hoot;)

    A heart that knows the love can’t do anything but love back. Jesus made the plan for us to succeed..
    We are truly blessed..

  4. Jordan Fleming says:

    Ava, all these years later your God-given words and your influence still reach me. A whole state away and Gid is using you to lift me up. I’ve struggled so greatly lately with this very thing…thinking that I must not be acceptable in God’s eyes because I am certainly not acceptable to myself, in my own eyes. But, oh, how we limit the Cross in its ability and power to redeem and forgive and stretch far to cover over our failures and imperfections and our almost-perfect-but-not-quite-there strivings.

    Praise be to God who will one day rescue me from this way of thinking and perfect me as I behold His face.

    Thank God for you, Ava. Your writing is simple. It’s down to earth. It’s relatable. And God uses it mightily. Thank you for being willing to be used by God. Love you!

    • worthydaughters says:

      Thank you, sweet Jordan! I miss seeing you and your luminous face. Believe not only me but mostly the Heavenly Father: Your heart for the Lord is beautiful even when it’s imperfect, thanks to grace, grace, grace! 🙂

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